Editor: NANCY WRIGHT
By Nancy Wright, Editor
CCJA INTERVIEW WITH BARBARA COLOROSO
By Nancy Wright
Why We Bully
By Arthur Lockhart
By Jon Friel
Bullying: Power and the Three Fs
By Margot Van Sluytman
An internationally recognized speaker and best-selling author in the areas of parenting, teaching, school discipline, bullying, non-violent conflict resolution and reconciliatory justice, Barbara Coloroso has consulted across Canada on issues ranging from the horrific residential school policies and targeting of minorities to cyberbullying and bullycide. Barbara realized in the 1990s that some violent school-aged young offenders had committed their violent acts in reaction to bullying and had done so after their complaints about being bullied had been wrongly dismissed. In the wake of the tragic Columbine shooting in her hometown of Littleton (CO), Barbara wrote The Bully, the Bullied, and the Not-So-Innocent Bystander (2002, 2006, 2015) at the request of HarperCollins Canada. She generally construes bullies as contemptuous and the bullied as “angry sullen and /or sad. “ with anger but qualifies this by noting that those who bully tend to get angry at those who defend or protect the targeted youth. Coloroso blames misinformed social understandings for slow progress combatting bullying, noting that quick fixes like suspension or expulsion often inadvertently target angry victims, incite bullies to revenge, and preclude any reconciliation services. She points out that strategies based on conflict resolution are also inadequate since bullying is not a conflict. Barbara Coloroso advocates restorative justice for young offenders and warns that bullying knows no limits, as per her book, Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide (2007).
‘BULLYING’ BY ANY OTHER NAME: GENOCIDE, A CRIME OF EXTRAORDINARY PROPORTIONS
John Winterdyk, Department of Economics, Justice, and Policy Studies, Mount Royal University, Calgary (AB)
In this article, John Winterdyk fathoms genocide, cultural genocide and bullying as inter-related social constructs, offers a succinct discussion on the definition and origin of the terms genocide and cultural genocide and why this latter was excluded from the UN’s Convention on Genocide. Since cultural genocide and bullying both often involve a psychological force that is hard to anticipate and measure and have no legal meaning anywhere in the world, Winterdyk points out that there is no legal recourse. Positing cultural genocide as the modus operandi of the Residential School System by which the Government of Canada attempted to dominate the nation’s Indigenous peoples through forced assimilation for over one hundred years (1996), however, Winterdyk recognizes a deconstructive, restorative approach to genocide that can also help us understand how the Canadian government came to commit the grievous act of cultural genocide.
‘THE BOYS ARE GOOFY; THE GIRLS ARE MEAN’: GENDER, BULLYING, AND ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR IN SCHOOLS
Allison Chenier, Part-time Instructor, Sheridan College and Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology and Legal Studies, University of Waterloo
School has long been considered a factor of interest in the study of antisocial behaviour and youth crime. This article uses the perspectives of those working with students to examine a specific type of antisocial behaviour in schools: bullying. Drawing on data from semi-structured interviews with school personnel and school police resource officers in a community in Southwestern Ontario, this article argues that responding to bullying is complicated and that these behaviours are interpreted differently by those working in schools depending on the gender of the perpetrator. This differential understanding of behaviours allows some behaviours to remain hidden and go unpunished among some adolescents. Chenier also points out that the dire need for more research into this important issue is given by the fact that none of her study’s respondents, either school personnel or police, rarely or never referred to policy guidelines or policies and procedures in shaping their interpretation and response to bullying behaviours.
BULLYING AND HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE: ALBERTA ADDS PROTECTIONS TO THE ALBERTA OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT
Ray Noble, RCMP (Retired), MA (Disaster and Emergency Management)
Retired RCMP officer Ray Nobles here summarizes the rationale for and implications of Bill C-30, which introduced bullying and other types of harassment to Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act and Worker Compensation Act effective June 2018. As such, the law now explicitly recognizes that bullying and other forms of harassment can cause lasting harm to individuals and implicitly defines such harm as a preventable workplace injury. Pointing out that it will take time to raise awareness about bullying and other types of psychological harassment, Nobles contends that the much-needed legislation is clearly beneficial but will require careful implementation with ongoing reviews in the workplace.
LES SAINES HABITUDES DE VIE ÉMOTIONNELLES ET RELATIONNELLES À L’ÉCOLE
Président de la Fondation Jasmin Roy
Jasmin Roy points out that bullying is often in the headlines and that parents and schools must take action. Within this framework, Roy points out that since research studies increasingly show the benefits of social and emotional learning, the current emphasis on dealing with violent encounters in schools must be changed to focus on how to help students develop healthy emotional and relational life habits that could circumvent the violence. Parents can help, using available educational strategies, says Roy, but the education system must also come up with sustainable educational solutions to help ensure social and emotional learning, because school is where children develop the majority of their social and personal skills. Fighting bullying to create a caring environment is the main mandate of Quebec’s bilingual Jasmin Roy Foundation, which offers school-based, early-childhood, and LGBT+ initiatives in French and English: http://fondationjasminroy.com.
WHY WE BULLY
Professor, School of Social and Community Services, Humber College
Founder Emeritus of The Gatehouse
This article approaches the bullying issue from the standpoint of a perceived paucity of authentic connection, which has set the stage for relentless, intentional disconnection among citizens. Rooting this abstract state in dominator-dominated ideologies of patriarchal consumerist societies and their institutions that have long normalized domination, Lockhart maintains that transformative pedagogies would be a good place to start changing the situation, especially since 1 in 3 adolescent students and 40% of workers in Canada have reported being bullied.
Dr. Friel suggests that researchers are not taking brain mechanisms sufficiently into consideration as a means of helping understand the phenomena of bullying. Offering a computer (RAM vs hard drive) analogy to help us fathom the relationship between stress (emotion), the brain, and behaviour, he calls for more scientific research into the relationship between stress, gene activation and resilience in the brain.
Margot Van Sluytman explores bullying within a framework of Theo Gavrielides’ identification of the immeasurable value and need of “a personal, inner process of self-betterment”. Van Sluytman points out that her Sawbonna Project’s non-formalized method—which is a form of self-talk or cognitive behaviour therapy practice—offers a way to address bullying. She emphasizes that the choice to engage in a “personal inner process of self-betterment,” as per Theo Gavrielide, not only trumps the notions of “power and control” of which he also speaks, it affords relationship building. Van Sluytman concludes the article with a poem (Anonymity and Fear©) written by one of her colleagues, Dr. Dorothy Vaandeering.
Opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the Association’s views, but are included to encourage reflection and action on the criminal justice system throughout Canada.